OP: Balancing school and a social life, prioritize both

9 October 2018

Joy Webb

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    It’s a common misconception that college students have to choose between having a social life and being successful in school: both can be done.

    College is a time for focusing on studies, completing homework and getting good grades, but it is also a time to experience life on your own.

    Having a social life should never be sacrificed for school, when it is possible for students to both live their lives, and do well in their education. Balance is key in college to both being content, but also being successful.

    In a study from American Freshman Survey, there was a direct correlation between depression, and students not socializing enough.  

    The American Freshman Survey collected responses from about 153,000 full-time, first-year students at more than 200 four-year public and private institutions in 2014. An increasing number of students – now 38.8 percent – said they spend less than five hours each week with friends, while just 18 percent said they spend more than 16 hours weekly with friends. It’s the opposite of the picture student responses painted in 1987, when two-thirds said they spent more than 16 hours each week socializing.

    It’s necessary for students’ health to have interactions with peers outside of school and work. It is important to stay focused on studies, but there should be times in everyone’s day that doesn’t involve school work or class.

    College is a stressful time for students, and this can sometimes mean that students become depressed or overwhelmed from all of their activities. Having a support group of friends, and a social group that can help with this stress, is just as important as getting homework done or doing well on a test.

    According to the American Freshman Survey, most students – 65.4 percent – continue to say the most important factor in their college search is a school’s “good academic reputation.”

    Even though it is positive that students are focused on their studies, and doing well in school, it is also concerning that these people aren’t giving themselves necessary social time.

    Students need to be able to distinguish when to do homework or study for a test, and when to take the night or day off to social with friends and enjoy this time in their life. College isn’t just about education; it’s also about experience and meeting new people.